What went wrong? This should have been an easy pop-fly for Sam Raimi. Instead, he indulged himself and made the weakest of the three films for his exit bow.
Now: for a good chunk of this, I’m going to reference a funny article from Film Threat’s Mark Bell:
1) Personally, I don’t mind the paintings/old footage in the beginning of the film – gives a little consistency to the series.2) Neither did I mind the voiceover – made the film slightly shorter (and Christ did it ever need to be shorter).
3) Cameo by Bruce Campbell. In total agreement with this one…
4) I personally like Dr. Connors showing up in the films before he changes into the Lizard (that’s not a spoiler in my opinion; that’s old news to every comic geek in America).
5) Another thing I like about this series (apart from the revisionism of Uncle Ben’s death) is that some villains are seen as people. Much like the non-psychotic Wolverine in the X-Men film franchise, it gives the actor some time to shine, elevating such films above films like Commando where Schwartzenegger becomes almost a caricature of himself. Can’t have enough of good acting, can we? (and why isn’t Theresa Russell getting more work?)
6) J.K. Simmons is terrific too.
7) Sadly, a visit with Aunt May is required in a Spider-Man film. Part of the legend, you know. Although, her death would give a nice moment for a future movie.*
8 & 9) Action sequences are why geeks like me go to the movies. And conflict is the essence of drama, I’ve heard.
10) The rebellious montage in SM2 I thought was fine. The montage in this one, too long. And don’t get me started about that show-stopping (in the worst way) sequence in the jazz bar…
11) I agree that it’s time to drop the Uncle Ben flashbacks. They do get to be a little tiresome (just like the flashbacks Bruce Wayne has about his parents being killed – Ok, we get it already!)
12) The final fight – OK, I believe.
But wait! I’ve just got a little more vent in me for this subject-
Topher Grace was badly miscast. Should have saved him for when Tobey MacGuire wouldn’t return. Then we all could have had a “can he play Spider-Man as well as Tobey” argument as we wait for Spider-Man 4. In fact, Thomas Hayden Church should have played Venom (Grace’s voice coming from the Venom character made me think of scraping fingernails on blackboards). I hate to say it too, but Sandman was too lame a villain for this movie, especially for the bloated running time. Just a pity that James Franco won’t be coming back – best performance of the movie.
* and no , I don’t want them to fake her death then bring her back, as in a poorly written comic book.
STILL MORE: a rebuttal…